India Uncut

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Saturday, June 03, 2006

You don't own your body, ok?

Not all of it anyway. As I'd written in an earlier post, "Whose kidney is it anyway?", while you can give your car or iPod or umbrella to anyone you want, you can only give your kidney away with the permission of government authorities. Well, it seems from this story that kidney donation can happen between a married couple, but a gentleman in Mumbai was prevented from donating a kidney to his ailing wife because he did not have a marriage certificate. He got married in 1974, when marriage registrations weren't so common.

I'm glad to find that the High Court has come to the couple's rescue, ruling that a certificate is not necessary. But before you celebrate their decision, be informed that the High Court has "directed that Chandrabhan [the gent concerned] should produce an affidavit from any of the persons who attended his wedding."

This is just so infuriating. Even if they weren't married, I don't see why a kidney transfer should be prevented. This is draconian nonsense.

PS. Yes, yes, I know the ostensible purpose of such laws is to prevent people being exploited for their kidneys. But who is to define 'exploitation'? If I am poor and need just one kidney and wish to sell the other to get a better life for myself, who has the right to stop me? As long as there is no coercion, what's the problem?

In fact, driving the market for kidneys underground vastly increases the chances of coercion.

And if, FSM forbid, something should happen to the lady concerned, well, notch one more up for the state.
amit varma, 1:58 AM| write to me | permalink | homepage

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